tv [untitled] March 6, 2012 8:00am-8:30am PST
>> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. i am the secretary to the police commission. on behalf of the commission, i would like to welcome everyone to the san francisco police department's 2011 medal of valor ceremony. please stand for the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america into the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. thank you. please be seated. mayor lee was scheduled to
attend but was not able to make it. he sent his congratulations to our medal of valor recipients. we're joined by the police commissioners and the commission president, vice-president, commissioners. also on the stage this evening we have the chief of police gregory surh. we have the deputy chief of special operations and the deputy chief of the operations bureau. we have the deputy chief from the airport bureau. we have commander in the operations bureau, the commander from the sfmta, the commander in chief of staff, and the
commander from the operations bureau. this evening we are going to start with a few words from the chief of police gregory suhr. >> good evening. i want to thank everybody for being here. we are a very proud police department, rich in tradition. this week, we had a promotion ceremony on monday where we promoted sergeants, lieutenants, captains, and members of the command staff. we've recently brought back the retirement ceremony. i think for everyone in the police department, this particular ceremony stands above the rest. every day, the men and women of the san francisco police department go out and put it on the line every single day. they leave their families and
little ones -- it is so great to see the kids and parents here. every day, they go out to put themselves between the bad guys themselves without us. more than every once in awhile, the officers do something extraordinary. you will hear some stories tonight that are going to make you amazed that someone would do that for someone they have never met before. i know one of the stories myself. i could not believe in it and i was actually there. i do not want to take a lot of time. i want the little ones to listen. your moms and dads are unbelievably brave people who do the right thing every day. for the families here that raised these officers, god bless you. san francisco thanks you for loaning them to us. without further ado, i will let the lieutenant explain the process. it is a link the one to get here.
these are not awards we pass out lightly -- it is a lengthy process to get here. these are not awards we pass out lightly. >> as the chief mentioned, it is a long process. i will go over the highlights. when officers actions are such that any supervisor takes note of a store near bravery, they prepare a report along with supporting documentation and forward it to the commanding officer. the commanding officer conducts a personal investigation of the event. if they approve the nomination, they prepare a report for the chief of police. the chief of police forwards these nominations to the police commissioner's office. the office for was the nomination package to award screening committee. the committee is composed of three captains within the department. if the award screening committee approves the nomination, they send it back so the secretary may schedule an award committee
meeting. this is a meeting of all department captains and command staff. they get together to review the nominations. the nominating commanding officer presents the nomination. the nominated officers are present to answer any questions the committee may have. by secret ballot, the awards committee votes on whether to approve the medal of valor and what grade. the chief of police boards approved the nominations to the police commissioner for final approval. you can see it is a lengthy process. these awards are taken very seriously. to give a few words also this evening, we will have the commission president speak. >> ladies and gentlemen, i really want to thank you for being here tonight to honor these officers.
every police officer that enters the department enters with the goal of serving the community and helping others. these officers are getting medals of valor. valor means something extraordinary. they risk their lives for somebody they do not even know. those are very special people you are related to. your mom, your dad, your son, your daughter. you should be very proud. i am honored to be here tonight to stand in front of these four officers. they are unbelievable. i thank them for their service. ordinarily, there is one commissioner in the meeting when they vote. it is an awesome experience. i will ask commissioner slaughter who was present at the time of this note to say a few words. >> thank you. next time, and give me a little more warning if you are going to
ask me to speak. i will say this. i had a great honor to sit on the fifth floor of the hall of justice some months back as the entire command staff and captains of the san francisco police department heard the stories of this tremendous bravery and valor of these officers. it is the first time i sat through the meeting. i did not have a vote. i am glad did not. it is an awesome responsibility. i can tell you each of those members of the committee take their obligation and responsibility in considering these metals -- imedals industry seriously. these are not likely awarded. the officers in front of you have really done tremendous things in service to the city. i was honored and proud to be able to sit and listen to these
stories. i will tell you that there were other stories told that were tremendous. it goes to show how significant these awards are and how significant the actions of these officers were that there are not others sitting here before you. the officers of the police department to themselves in harm's way every day. it is much more common than we would like to think that they have to take actions that are just tremendous and that average folks in sen. cisco are tremendously indebted to them for. trust me. -- average folks in san francisco are tremendously indebted to them for. trust me. this is a tremendous honor. thank you. >> to present this evening's first award is the commanding
officer of the northern station. >> as the chief said, it is a great honor. this is the highest honor we get as commanding officers. i will recount the events that led up to this evening. i do not want to miss anything so i will read it. on the night of july 23, 2010, a woman was driving home. she noticed a group of people involved in an altercation near her home. she backed into her driveway when the subject approached the driver's side window of her car. she locked her car doors afraid for her safety. the suspect, a subject at that point, yelled at her to get out of the car. he produced a gun and finally struck the window shattering it. the victim. for her life got out.
the suspect fled in her car. the same suspect accompanied by another attempted an additional carjacking prior. carjacking is when a car is taken at the point of a weapon. the initial reporting officers searched for the suspects to no avail. a teletype was issued. officer hayes was working alone at night. she searched the car and suspect all night. at 5:30 in the morning, officer hayes was still actively looking for the car. at the intersection she saw the car that matched the broadcast description. it to occur several blocks to catch up to the car. she was able to confirm the license plate and suspect's description. she advised our communications center of her findings and initiated the traffic stop using her license siren. the suspect driver failed to
yield. a pursuit and sid. the officer was joined by another unit. she pursued the suspect vehicle as it began driving through red lights at a high rate of speed. the suspect vehicle driver continued through four police districts with a blatant disregard for the law. the suspect driver lost control of the car in the parking lot of the recreation center. the other suspect in the car climbed into the rear seat of a suspect vehicle. officer hayes noticed this as the car was coming to an abrupt stop after the collision. she noticed a muzzle flash. she was slowing per vehicle and broadcasting the movements. she managed to transition her gun to her weaker hand and returned fire to the suspect. the heavily wooded area provided
the suspects the ability to evade capture. the officers searched the area and found a fully loaded handgun outside of the project a vehicle. in conclusion at great risk to result in in defense of the public in general, officer hayes' vigilant pursuit of two violent felons even after being shot at is being awarded the bronze medal of valor. [applause] congratulations. >
>> do you have it? [inaudible] >> i want to start by thanking the captain knew -- for allowing me the honor to present this. the captain would normally read this as the captain of the station. i was there that night. i could probably tell the story. i will not get another chance to do this. here we go. on september 14, officers sl lane, august, and daugherty took
action putting themselves in harm's way. in so doing, these officers saved lives. . jordan and crime partners planned to rob someone. text messages between jordan and his inside person ms. before the robbery spoke of no one being there but him and the ho and doing it my way. it said they were the new bonnie and clyde. minutes later, injury was made by the home invasion team. after minimal discussion, dennis dickson later murdered on the floor. a woman inside undetected by the murderous team of home invasion robbers slipped into a closet and called 911 while the crime was still in progress. the officers responded to the
woman's 911 call of the shooting that just occurred not knowing the robbers might still be in the house. two officers were first to arrive ma-- made contact with the frightened neighbors. they said they sought a suspect we eastbound -- flee eastbound from the home. they said there were still subject in the house with guns. a shot had been fired immediately after hearing the murdered man say, "are you really doing this?" they also pointed out a bullet had come through their wall from next door. the next-door neighbor showed the officers a hockey mask that was discarded.
the officers could have waited. believing the violent crime was still in progress and without regard for their own personal safety, they decided to make immediate entry into the residence through the front door. they did this risking their own lives to protect the occupants of the residents and further serious injury or another death. lane and august kicked the door open and observed suspects over the son of the victim. it was later discovered he had been pistol whipped by the suspects. they moved to contact and arrest the suspects. they observed the lifeless body of dixon on the floor. a 9-year-old boy was lying awake and alert to what was going on. the officers moved towards the
pair. one suspect bolted and attempted to escape. the second suspect wrote towards the rear of the residents. lane blocked one suspect and placed him under arrest. august gave chase in the dark house. the second suspect jumped out a second story rear window into the backyard area. august advised responding units he had fled to the backyard and immediately went downstairs to give further chase. officer cavanaugh arrived on the scene and assisted lane and was still struggling with one of the murder suspects. lane immediately called for medical assistance. the deputies arrived and were quickly briefed and directed to enter the residence and locate the other outstanding suspect. the into the house without hesitation and were told by the victim's son the they were still in there. the officers moved further into
the residence risking their own lives. the officers located officer august and began a systematic search of the residence. the first searched the middle level where they located a gun on the dining room table. the officers secured the gun in his shirt. the middle level was cleared as they moved to the upper level. they saw another gun lying on the bed. they moved to the lower level. they heard movement coming from an unknown area. they identified themselves as police officers and observed a woman walking towards the with a kitchen knife in one hand and a cell phone in the other. a woman was trembling with fear and told them she was the one who called police from the closet. when she dropped the knife on command of the officer who could have confused her with another suspect, the officers continued
their search in remembered someone else live in the rear cottage. they quickly moved to the backyard area. chorizos a movement behind the tree. -- doorherty saw a movement behind a tree and called for the suspects to come out with his hands up. he was taken into custody with the murder victims property and a large amount of money. the officers should always be quick without hesitation and appropriate. during an officer's career, there are times when they will be placed in a position where they have to decide whether to put their safety or the safety of others before their own. there are times when they're called upon to deal with a situation where there is a great likelihood an officer could be seriously injured or killed when no one would blame them for waiting. this was such a moment for the
officers involved. in this instance, the efforts of all the officers involved showed great courage, a great decision making, and dedication be on the call of duty. the officers constantly respond to calls for shootings and know the potential risk they may encounter every time. these officers knew immediate action was required to save lives. they did not hesitate in putting themselves in harm's way to save lives, to render aid, and take suspects into custody. for this, they are being honored with the bronze medal of valor. [applause]
sutter st.. the residential hotel with narrow hallways and then walls is well known to officers as they respond there almost daily. this busy sunday morning stretched staffing to its limits. officers were sent to the fair and a critical incident in the northern district. the officer responded to a call at 11:17 a.m. and climbed seven flights of stairs to room 708. she approached the room with the manager who unlocked the door after numerous attempts to get the occupant to do so. she entered the studio apartment and saw the suspect line on the bed to the left of the door. his arms were behind his head. she saw the wooden handle of a gun on the floor was littered with clothing and garbage. she approached the bed with her gun drawn. she picked up his weapon and back away from the suspect.
she backed approximately 10 feet while never taking her eyes off of the suspect. fearing a physical confrontation, she placed the unloaded large caliber revolvers with a 9 inch barrel on a chair behind her while keeping her eyes on the suspect. the suspect jumped up from the bed and screamed that he was part of the secret service, part of the cia. he repeatedly stated that she was going to shoot her -- him today. he ignored her verbal commands to get down on the floor. the officer called for a code three backup unit and attempted to calm the suspect. she instructed the manager outside the apartment door to go to the stairs and direct the arriving officers to her location. she continued to give the suspects verbal commands and assurances while keeping her body between him and the gun on a chair behind her. he then complied with her command to get on the floor by kneeling but he instantly leaped
up and approached hurt by a few more feet. he was then adjacent to the door. looking straight into her eyes, he reached over and slammed the apartment door. he turned a double. he said, now is just you and me. knowing her life depended on getting the door open, she reacted by stepping to left and began unlocking the door. as she stepped left, the suspect maneuver around the right side of the officer and got his gun off of the chair. she turned and faced the suspect with the gun drawn. she was only a few feet away facing him with his gun pointed slightly up in the air. she ordered him to put the gun down. holding a steady with both hands, he pointed the gun directly at her. faced with no other alternative but to use deadly force, the officer began firing her department-issued fire arm. she continued to fire but he did not drop the gun. the suspect spun around as he
fell and landed on his back. his head was towards her feet with the gun still in his hands. he brought his arms over his head so begun would be pointed at her again. she prepared to shoot him again when the backup officer into the room. that officer saw the injured suspect on the floor with the weapons still in his hands and his bigger still on the trigger, still posing a threat. at officer pointed his department rifle at the suspect and told him to let go of the weapon. at this time, sergeant hernandez entered the room and observe the suspect lower the weapon to his waist, raise his arm back up to the weapon. the officer provided cover while sgt hernandez retreat -- retrieved the weapon. with the assistance of officers, performed cpr until the fire department arrived. despite efforts to save the suspect's life, the suspect succumbed to his wounds and died
>> since we have the award screening committee in august, we have already received nine more nomination for metals of dollars for members of the department. we will have another one of these ceremonies in the spring to be honoring those folks, too, hopefully. the police department would also like to thank the university of san francisco and their suppo